An Old Bridge: imperfectionism

We are hard-pressed to quickly come up with a name and explanation for our avant-garde behaviour in the face of a pandemic. But working on this book, I am, and will share various ideas from the book with my readers.

First. There was and is a place where perfection in the mind exists, but it is unity with God, or a deity that we are able to conceive or perceive as perfect. Without a perfect deity–one that we fear instead of insult–there is no freedom from our own imperfections. That burden is now upon the deity. It is no longer on us.

Second. If a deity carried daily the burden of our imperfections, our “cross” so to speak, lack of peace and dissatisfaction our minds would be soothed as if with oil. We are able to conceive of excellence, and indeed, this is a much better goal than perfection.

Third. The power we wield over people would end them dead if we had the way of our carnal minds, or if they preferred our carnal minds to our spiritual ones–the more information we have, the more information we want–then we dissect the person. We think we are Michelangelo and want to sculpt a statue superior to our marked-up cadaver. We think people a miniscule study or experiment that is dispensable to science or art. The very beauty of their imperfections is effaced.

Fourth. The pains we take each day to make ourselves beautiful, presentable, and composed are at odds with the survivalist mentality where the priority is on life as it is, instead of how it appears. It occurs that one day we will be judged upon what we are, not how we act. They are at odds with the lowest of the street, often shunned as outcasts of society, where wearing makeup is a sign of money thus of harlotry. Those higher up in social classes, and leading more innocent lives certainly do not notice the attentions of men.

Fifth. Women would certainly not try to make such an effort to be composed in a psychiatric ward where they can barely justify scraping their faces off the floor, to coin a phrase by Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden). This book I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is a semi-autobiographical novel by Joanne Greenberg, written under the pseudonym of Hannah Green. It served as the basis for a film in 1977 and a play in 2004 (Source: Wikipedia). According to Spark Notes, it is “a semi-autobiographical account of a teenage girl’s three-year battle with schizophrenia. Deborah Blau, bright and artistically talented, has created a world, the Kingdom of Yr, as a form of defense from a confusing, frightening reality.”

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Hannah Green is a classic I have been reading this year.

From Amazon’s review:

Enveloped in the dark inner kingdom of her schizophrenia, sixteen-year-old Deborah is haunted by private tormentors that isolate her from the outside world. With the reluctant and fearful consent of her parents, she enters a mental hospital where she will spend the next three years battling to regain her sanity with the help of a gifted psychiatrist. As Deborah struggles toward the possibility of the “normal” life she and her family hope for, the reader is inexorably drawn into her private suffering and deep determination to confront her demons. A modern classic, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden remains every bit as poignant, gripping, and relevant today as when it was first published.


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